How to tackle parking – or the lack of it – for office staff and clients
If a shortage of car parking in or around your office building is starting to cause you – and in turn, your staff and business – some concern, it may be time to take a fresh look at parking opportunities and other ways to reframe the issue.
Globally, and nationwide, there is a proactive push to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads particularly among commuting workers.
In fact, in some cities, there’s a new normal and that is, modern office buildings will have greatly reduced numbers of car park spaces associated with them and dedicated car parking buildings are on the way out (or are becoming prohibitively expensive for all-day parkers with preference given to short-term users.)
For inner city office businesses, these changing car parking ratios could impact on punctuality, staff morale, client accessibility and perhaps even affect recruitment of new employees. There is still an expectation that people should be able to hop into their private vehicle, drive to their place of work, park either within or near that building and wash, rinse, and repeat in reverse, that process at the end of the day.
In some cases, change can be driven by workplaces and many teams involved with innovative new office developments around New Zealand are leading the way in changing the culture around the drive-park mindset. The award-winning ASB North Wharf building in Auckland, for example, accommodates around 1400 staff yet has only 97 car parks.
With New Zealand’s main centres continuing to evolve their public transport offerings and upgrading infrastructure to encourage cycling, for example, businesses are being encouraged to think differently about the private vehicle and car parking issues.
Here’s some ideas to consider: • As an employer, you could subsidise public transport monthly passes to get your staff out of their drive to work mind set • Innovative CBD workplaces are investing in e-bikes for short haul out-of-office commitments • Encourage car-pooling among your staff and consider providing priority parking for a car-pool vehicle. Benefits include: o Lower demand for car park spaces o Reduced frustration among staff who previously had to search for a park o Promotion of office social networks o Less vehicle wear-and-tear on individual employee vehicles o Shared expenses • Encourage staff to cycle to work and if you can’t offer them a shower once they arrive, partner with a nearby gym to get a staff deal • Look into internet start-up apps that link drivers with nearby available parking – particularly relevant in city-fringe suburbs where residents are making car parking space available on their properties • Have a booking system at reception to ensure clients have a park on arrival • Look to lease spaces in nearby buildings if your building is short of car parking
If your office business is currently located in the CBD, contact a leasing specialist to get some good intel on city-fringe or suburban locations that could be beneficial to your business model and where parking may not be such an issue